TDEE so low I want to cry & it’s not getting easier

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TDEE so low I want to cry & it’s not getting easier

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  poppylocks 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • Before starting 5:2 I was able to stick to around 1800 calories a day (actually by counting around 35g carbs/day on Atkins). Lost 4kg over 3 months, but thought this would be easier than constantly counting carbs.

    Now on my 4th week of 5:2. The first day I was exhilarated and thought, this isn’t bad. But starving the next day and ate huge amounts, more than 2000 cal. My TDEE is 1460 (!)

    I keep reading how it’s supposed to get easier and your appetite “should” diminish. But every fast day gets harder. So hungry on fast days my stomach cramps and wakes me up in the night. Absolutely ravenous and feeling unwell the next day. I’ve lost one kg, so it is coming off slowly, but it’s so bloody difficult & feels like I’m giving myself an eating disorder.

    Am I doing something wrong? Properly sticking to 500 cals on fast days, drinking gallons of water. I tried 3 small meals first. Then not having anything but coffee, tea and water until midday. “Big” meal at evening. Salty broth.

    Hi Catty My TDEE is the same as yours.
    I find eating processed sugar in paticular and gluten or drinking alcohol really makes me want to overeat on non-Fast days Have you tried cutting down or taking them out of your diet for a while and going with low carb, proteins and loads of vegetables.
    I also have a nourishing hot drink at night on fast days if necessary to prevent me waking up. I like coconut milk and cocoa powder this really helps me

    Also I believe you should only eat 25% of your TDEE on Fast days not 500 cals That sounds too much with your TDEE
    Do you take any medications or have any medical conditions which are hampering your progress and increasing your cravings Do you exercise ?? Have you considered this points.
    Hope you solve your issues I am sure if you persist things will get better Good Luck

    Hi, My TDEE is 1400 but I still use 500 calories for fast days even though it’s not 25% of my TDEE – Michael Moseley has said in a TV interview that this is OK to do – in fact he’s now saying you can eat up to 700-800 calories on fast days if you find the lower limit too difficult. I’m losing weight using 500 cals so I’ll be sticking to this until I get to goal.

    I allocate some of my calories to low fat milk on FDs so that I cane have hot drinks (usually cups of tea), I find these help me get though times when I feel hungry. On cold days, cups of broth can also be useful. I have tried doing more fast days in a week, but this tends to trigger a binge response for me on the next NFD. After experimenting, I have found the right balance for me is 2 NFD between FDs, which means that across a month I get 2 extra FDs than if I had just done 5:2 every week which boost weight loss a little.

    I find it can be a real challenge to stick to 1400 calories (5880kj) on the NFDs, but the following things help me:
    – I use an eating window as I have a tendency to binge so this restriction helps. I never feel hungry at the beginning of the day, but my appetite builds as the day goes on, so I’ve applied an eating window that fits that – I eat all my calories between noon and 8pm. By not having to cover breakfast I have more calories for when I really need them.
    – I eat wholefoods rather than processed foods, and try to avoid things with a lot of sugar, salt or fat as they stimulate my appetite. I eat carbohydrates but only wholegrains (eg sourdough rye rather than white bread, quinoa or freekah rather than pasta or rice). I also eat a lot of legumes which provide both protein and carbs but I find them really filling. These types of carbs don’t stimulate my appetite. However I know others who have needed to follow a low carb diet while on 5:2 to lose weight – if you have insulin resistance then it can be difficult to lose weight while freely eating carbohydrates. I think the35gram limit that you previously followed is particularly low and if you want some level of restriction you might try a more moderate level of around 80g, which is where many of the VLCDs (very low calorie diets – eg meal replacement shakes) target themselves.
    – Fresh veg & fruit is a substantial part of my diet, I can’t get my intake down to 1400 calories and still have enough volume to eat otherwise. I usually restrict my afternoon snacks to fresh fruit, and if I want dessert after dinner it is also usually fruit, sometimes with yoghurt. It did take a while to stop craving treat foods at these times but over time I’ve adapted to the fruit option.
    – Although the current fashion is for a high fat diet I choose to eat a low fat diet as the volume of food I can have on a high fat diet is just too small for me so I eat modest amounts of the healthier fats. (I also have no gall bladder so have digestion issues if a meal has a high fat content.) Gram for gram, fats contain twice the calories of carbohydrate or protein, so it’s hard to structure a high fat diet unless you also have a high TDEE.
    – I try to plan things that take me out of the house (I’m retired) for part of the day on fast days so that I have other things than food to think about.

    I hope you find an eating pattern that helps. If binge eating is an issue for you it may be worth reading through the discussion on the following forum:

    Hi Catty,

    my TDEE is laughable – 1517cals. My BMR is 1320 – I have so little to work with it makes me angry and depressed at the same time. SO tired of having to struggle with weight, my whole life.

    I was doing ok for the past 5 weeks, fasting 3 days instead of 2, as I also have an underactive thyroid. Was getting used to toughing it out on fast days…but today, I crumbled for the first time. It wasn’t in my head..I was so hungry my whole stomach was painful and cramping, and I felt so sick. Eventually, at 6pm I was so distressed and upset I had some rice, but then for the rest of the night, no matter what I ate, my stomach was still like I hadn’t eaten anything. I waited to see whether it was in my head, but, no, it was this intense physical ache. So upsetting.

    I was supposed to fast today as well (normally Mon/Wed/Thu), but it’s 4am, and I had to get up and have something to eat. I think I will ‘recover’ today, and see if I can do at least the second fast day on the weekend.

    Anyone who gets fooled by thinking this way of eating is easy will quickly realise this is as tough as a traditional diet. Sorry for the rant – a really long-winded way of saying I FEEL YOUR PAIN! Best of luck! 😊

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